Statement on Moderna executives selling stock since pursuing COVID vaccine

Today, the Washington Post reported that top Moderna executives have sold more than $200 million worth of stock since they announced they were pursuing a COVID vaccine in January.

Statement from Margarida Jorge, campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now:

“This news serves as a reminder that as the White House continues to hand over billions in taxpayer dollars for a coronavirus vaccine without a guarantee of affordability, Big Pharma continues to focus on its profits not patients,” said “American taxpayers are co-owners of this potential vaccine, but it’s only Moderna that’s reaping the profits — we foot the bill while they line their pockets.”

As the Washington Post Reported:

“In total, seven corporate executives and board members as well as a venture capital fund run by Moderna’s board chairman collectively sold almost $101 million following Clayton’s comments. The trades were part of more than $200 million in sales by insiders since Moderna announced Jan. 21 that it was pursuing a vaccine in partnership with the National Institutes of Health. That’s according to an analysis of SEC filings that the national executive compensation research firm Equilar performed at the request of The Washington Post — the first such comprehensive examination of the company’s stock sales this year. Insiders selling included Moderna Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Bancel, Chief Financial Officer Lorence Kim and Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks.”

The stock sales raised concerns from former SEC officials:

“All of the activity in the days leading up to the announcement and the offering, and the days following the announcement, are ripe fodder for SEC investigation,” said Jacob S. Frenkel, a former top SEC investigator now in private practice as chair of government investigations and securities enforcement at the law firm Dickinson Wright.

“Harvey Pitt, a former SEC chairman who now heads Kalorama Partners, told CNN in May that the timing of the trades was “highly problematic” and that the SEC should review communications inside the company to find out “what was going on in people’s minds before all these transactions.”

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